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The ex-Spurs boss expects that Chelsea and another of his former clubs, Arsenal, will finish above Andre Villas-Boas's men and argues that it would be best for Gareth Bale to stay

George Graham believes that Tottenham will miss out on a top-four Premier League finish this season but insists that it would not be a disaster.

The 68-year-old, who managed Spurs between 1998 and 2001, feels that Chelsea and Arsenal are in the driving seat because they have easier remaining fixtures and a game in hand.

AS IT STANDS
Team

2. Man City
3. Chelsea
4. Tottenham
......................
5. Arsenal
6. Everton
Played

29
29
30
........
29
29

GD

+25
+28
+14
........
+23
+11

Points

59
55
54
........
50
48
"Tottenham will be the ones to lose out," Graham told the Daily Mirror. "They have a difficult run-in and they have played a game more than the others. [Arsenal] have recovered of late and it would ­appear they have the easiest programme to come.

"But I want to stress that it would be anything but a disaster for Tottenham or make it a poor ­season. In fact, I would say the opposite."

Andre Villas-Boas's men had looked assured of a Champions League qualification spot following their north London derby victory against the Gunners on March 3 but two consecutive defeats have changed the complexion of the run-in.

Even so, the Scot argues that Villas-Boas has a lot of which to be proud and hopes that the club can keep hold of star man Gareth Bale.

"He has been ­assembling a squad and he has done well to be in such a high ­position in the league and still be involved in the Europa League," Graham added of the Portuguese. "He can build on that and I hope he can keep Gareth Bale — for the club's sake and the player's sake.

"It is unfair on Bale to ­compare him to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He would really benefit from another season in ­England."

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Graham also argues that Manchester City should be much closer to runaway league leaders Manchester United, who are 15 points clear, hinting that "drama" has been the champions' undoing this season.

"Manchester City and Chelsea are parallel clubs," he added. "There always seems to be drama on a weekly basis there.

"Chelsea, of course, are competing on three fronts with the FA Cup and the Europa League but they have the quality and numbers in their squad to compete.

"It is the same with City. They are also involved in the FA Cup but they have so many good players that they should be able to handle it and still finish behind Manchester United."

Graham, who also managed Arsenal for nine years, suggested that there will have to be an overhaul at the Emirates Stadium this summer following a disappointing campaign.

"Arsene Wenger would agree that much more was ­expected from Arsenal this season than just qualifying for the ­Champions League and I can see changes there in the summer with new players coming into the club," he concluded.

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